TargitMail Looks to Raise Stakes

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E-mail marketer TargitMail.com recently partnered with OneMediaPlace, an online marketplace for media buys, in an effort to raise its profile to the level of big-name e-mail marketers such as Yesmail.com and NetCreations' PostMasterDirect.com.

Targitmail, Portsmouth, NH, said it believes an alliance with OneMediaPlace, San Francisco, which is more widely known by its former name, Adauction.com, would provide an obvious gain in revenues and a much-needed publicity boost.

"If you compare [our database] to other people in our space, we are dwarfing a couple of our competitors from a size standpoint alone," said John Malm, vice president of business development at TargitMail.

Since its launch in 1997, Targitmail has built an e-mail database of 13 million names. Yesmail, by comparison, counts 11 million e-mail subscribers, while PostMasterDirect comprises approximately 7.7 million e-mail names.

Malm said the e-mail marketer has built its database by establishing relationships with Internet service providers and e-mail delivery firms such as Commtouch and USA.net.

"We get their approval first so that we have the permission of the owner of the e-mail server," he said. "Then they market to their end-users to ask them if they want to receive targeted e-mail messages. Those members who agree to it are the ones we have access to."

Despite its notable size, TargitMail has been unable to establish its name in the marketplace as strongly as some of the industry's higher-profile e-mail marketers.

"TargitMail is not as recognizable a name as some of our competitors," Malm conceded. "We've done a great job in putting together the infrastructure and size of our database but not a great deal of PR." But by partnering with OneMediaPlace, the company believes it can increase both its sales and industry presence.

According to the terms of the deal, OneMediaPlace will add e-mail marketing to the list of media buys available on its Web site. OneMediaPlace's users will be able to access and query TargitMail's 13 million-name database and bid on an e-mail list.

"For our benefit [the deal] aggregates more sources, more advertisers to our database," said Malm. OneMediaPlace currently has over 10,000 users. The benefit to OneMediaPlace is its ability to add another form of media placement to its customers.

"With TargitMail's incredibly detailed database, we will be able to offer all our clients a valuable marketing resource," said Chad Roffers, OneMediaPlace's senior vice president of online media. Targitmail claims to have 28 pieces of demographic and psychographic data on each end-user.

OneMediaPlace is striving to make its marketplace a one-stop shop for media buys across all channels. The online advertising auction site recently closed a $67 million round of venture financing led by Primedia, Liberty Media, French investor Artemis, CMGI@Ventures and other unnamed firms.

The next step for the new partners is a joint-training phase. TargitMail staffers will conduct sessions at OneMediaPlace's offices with the goal of teaching OneMediaPlace buyers and sellers the benefits of e-mail marketing as a media play. After the training is completed, the auction site will begin listing e-mails as one of its advertising options.

The companies have not yet set a definitive timetable and would begin implementation steps whenever their schedules permitted, Malm said.

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